The Parenting Context of Children’s Sleep

Stephen A. Erath and Kelly and M. Tu

in Sleep and Development

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780195395754
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894468 | DOI:
The Parenting Context of Children’s Sleep

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This chapter is organized around a conceptual model which contends that children's sleep is influenced by parental sleep-related cognitions and behaviors as well as the general context of the parent–child relationship. It begins by discussing parental sleep-related cognitions and behaviors in terms of the balance between parental sensitivity and the need to facilitate children's independent sleep competence. It then discusses the parent–child relationship as a context that may promote or undermine children's psychological comfort (e.g., level of anxiety at night), and thereby establish better or poorer conditions for children's sleep. It considers the reciprocal nature of the connection between parenting and children's sleep, emphasizing the effects of children's sleep on parents' sleep and their capacity to regulate emotions and behaviors that support positive parent–child interactions and relationships. Finally, directions for future research that would accelerate understanding of the interface between parenting and children's sleep are discussed.

Keywords: children's sleep; parent–child relationship; parenting; sleep-related cognitions; anxiety

Chapter.  6554 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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